What Does Padam Padam Mean?

17 June 2023 | 8:40 am | Mary Varvaris

We've narrowed it down to three possible meanings.

Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue (Credit: Edward Cooke)

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As Kylie Minogue’s latest hit, the disco-pop tune Padam Padam, hits a new chart high of #29 in Australia and #9 in the UK, we can’t help but wonder: what does Padam Padam actually mean?

"It's onomatopoeic,” the Spinning Around singer said to Zoe Ball on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show on Tuesday (13 June). "D-dum, d-dum, like a heartbeat".

The BBC have dug deeper. Besides the meaning Minogue explained and the possible influence of the track of the same name by French singer Edith Piaf (released in 1951), many Kylie fans have turned Padam Padam into a sort of verb that’s entered the everyday lexicon.

Some examples could include, "How good are Fridays? Padam." "Didn’t Kylie ace her surprise set at Capital Summertime Ball? Padam Padam."

Minogue responded to the chatter, "People are hilarious. It's become a noun, a verb, an adjective,” she told  Ball.

She added, "You know, friends leaving going: 'Padam!' Like they've turned into Minions or something. It's taken on a life of its own and I am having the time of my life seeing what people are doing."

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A new report in The Sun also indicates that fans are petitioning to have Padam Padam enter the Oxford English Dictionary. "That's a wild thought," Minogue said in an interview with Capital Radio. "Because what does it mean? It means whatever you want it to mean."

Another possible meaning for Padam Padam could stem from the LGBTQIA+ community, who wholeheartedly embrace Minogue as a devoted and inclusive ally. According to Harper’s Bazaar’s Louis Staples, Padam Padam connects to "queer people using art as part of a coded language that only we – the initiated – understand".

On Sunday, 11 June, Kylie Minogue shocked 80,000 punters when she made an unannounced appearance at Capital Summertime Ball festival and performed a set of hits, including Padam Padam and 2001 classic Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.

The Jonas Brothers, Niall Horan, Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding also featured at the festival, taking place at Wembley Stadium, but it seemed that fans were most excited to see the beloved Aussie pop superstar return to the stage. 

Padam Padam is the first taste of her recently announced album Tension, slated to arrive on Friday, 22 September, via BMG. You can pre-save/pre-order the album here.